I was born near the sea. I have lived near the sea for fifteen years. How delighted, how exhilarating is my sprint on the gleaming beach in the first rays of the rising sun! When the cool water splashes against my warm body, when my hair dances wildly in the morning breeze, and my young body responds to exhilaration of the moment, I feel like yelling with joy. I feel like a fiery colt set free.

When I take my first dip, splashing wildly, floating over swells, diving underneath the lively breakers, and swimming beyond the first rollers, I thank God for His wonderful gift to man-the capacity to enjoy the sea. Fascinated, I watch the seagulls, wave-top, clinging like foam to the crest of a wave rolling by; or skimming the wave-tops with unsurpassed grace. They scream their delight at the gift of effortless flight. I enjoy their shrill screams.

I understand them. The gulls are part of the sea. I love them. When my father takes me with him in our little yacht on False Bay, my cup of joy is overflowing. We are in high spirits, even when a threatening South-Easter sends us speeding back to the harbour for safety. The little boat lies dangerously on one side as it cuts through the water at breath-taking speed. I answer my father’s delighted smile. This is adventure, pure, healthy, exciting.

When conditions are favourable on a Friday evening my father takes me to our favourite angling spot far from the noise of traffic. There we sit side by side, patiently waiting for a bite, listening in silence to the voice of our mighty, mysterious friend – the sea. In those quiet, happy moments, on a lonely rock, I thank God for having given me a father who has taught me to understand and appreciate the sea.

We love the sea in all many moods. When my father is gone, I shall always be near to him in spirit while I am alone by the sea.